Signup date: 17 Nov 2010 at 4:11pm
Last login: 17 Sep 2012 at 4:54am
Post count: 20
Thank you for your replies.
Yes, the post you have written echoes my experience / thoughts exactly. I hope that you get on with yours well over the next couple of weeks and that we both submit by the end of this month. Let me know how you're getting on too - it might help to spur us on as the light at the end of the tunnel approaches! :)
I am 2 weeks away from submitting my thesis. It has been a bumpy ride with supervisors leaving, replacements being made and working full time for the last 12 months while writing up but I think I might almost be there with it?
Ok, so its not perfect - I finally came to the conclusion that it never will be and that I have to draw a line and hand it over, but it is a thesis.
I'm trying to connect the chapters more fluidly and make sure that I have done what I said I would etc but I'm now pretty sure that what I'll hand it will be the best that I could do given the situation....if only I could find the motivation to stick at it for this short time. As I say, its only a couple of weeks but I'm finding myself thinking beyond the hand-in already. For such a long time it felt like it would never end and now that it is coming close, I'm beginning to lose sight of what I should actually be doing to get it done.
Has anyone else been through something similar?
My logical head tells me to get myself into gear but I'm floating about not really getting anything done. So frustrating - must focus!!
Thanks so much for your response. You have just confirmed my thoughts with regard to the thesis.
I perhaps should have mentioned in my last post. I have a fairly detailed table of contents/chapter plans with summaries/sub-heading etc and I have 3 chapters in draft form now. I've been struggling to get words on paper in the order in which my supervisors are asking. I would much prefer to work (and think I'd get a lot more done) if I could just work on the bits that I wanted to when I wanted to as you have suggested. Up until now however, I haven't really had the nerve to tell my supervisor that and instead have attempted to work to his regime. You've helped me to come to the answer that I knew all along - I need to do it my way! I think if I get the nerve to tell him that the way that he has prescribed isnt working for me and I am avoiding at all costs, he should understand that any way that I do it is better than no way at all. I really don't want to give up the whole thing and really dont think that I ever would but I do need to give up on pleasing the supervisors if its getting me nowhere fast. Its amazing what getting things off your chest can do when you talk to others in a similar situation. Thanks again!
I'm in my third year of PhD study and attempting to write up. My funding comes to an end in September and although I technically have a year after that to submit I had always promised myself I'd be done as close to the end of funding as possible. For some reason, however, despite how much I want this damn process to be over I can't seem to get motivated to get words on paper. I do anything and everything other than what I actually have to do. Even when I make myself get on the computer at a decent time I find myself faffing with checking emails, catching up with friends, organising things to look forward to after the PhD but not actually doing the PhD. I know it sounds ludicrous and I keep telling myself to just get on with the damn thing but for some reason I continue to procrastinate. Throughout my undergrad and MA studies I was a full on perfectionist, spending every waking hour on assignments to ensure the best grade possible but now I seem to have lost all care for my studies. I keep thinking, oh - I'll do it when I have to and making excuses for my lack of work - 'you mustn't be in the right frame of mind to write' etc etc. But now I'm really starting to worry myself. While my motivation and interest in the thesis has pretty much gone out of the window I am still determined to finish it and would never walk away from it when I have come this far. However, I have no tricks up my sleeve to pull my socks up anymore and wondered if anyone else had experienced a similar thing? Any advice or kicks up the backside would be most appreciated. I know I have to do something to fix this situation but I really am at a loss as to what!
Oh Jenny, it's awful to hear that you are feeling this way but from a selfish point of view it's good to hear that I am not the only one feeling this way. When reading your post I felt like I was hearing myself so I completely empathise with your situation. I'm not sure whether this will come as a reassurance or not but I have felt like this off and on throughout my PhD. The first year for me was horrendous but for no particular reason. I found myself feeling just as you described on a daily basis and in turn piled on weight as I'm afraid my weakness is comfort eating as opposed to smoking. That being said, the second year marked an important turning point for me as fieldwork went well and I thrived on having to be somewhere for a particular time, to meet with people or to attend events. Now, having began my third year in Sept 2010 the feelings of the first year have come flooding back and I too feel filled with anxiety and depression each day. Unfortunately I have dealt with these feelings of saddness by avoiding doing my work until the very last minute and feeling guilty about it in the process which as I'm sure you'll agree really isn't a clever way of dealing with things. That being said, I'm yet to figure out a better way of dealing with things as despite my logical head telling me to just do the damn work it seems nigh on impossible to sit down and do it (without tears anyway). I'm telling you this not to put you off but so that you can see that even feeling as rough as I have about it (from pretty much day 1) I've still managed to get to the writing up stage without any major problems and indeed without my supervisors having a clue about my feelings so hopefully if you are able to discuss your current situation with your sup's and/or get some help medically I'm sure that you will be able to reach the end successfully. Like you, I loved my undergrad and even MA (perhaps to a lesser extent) so can't understand why this has crept up on me now particularly when like you we have been so lucky to receive AHRC funding. I can't figure out what makes me feel this way so I commend you for being able to pinpoint the combination of triggers that have led to your feelings - you are one step ahead of me in that respect! I really do wish you the best of luck in conquering this - it would be great to hear how you get on. Best wishes, Grit84
Hi all, just posted a reply but it seems to have disappeared? Anyway, here goes again...
Thank you for your responses - wow, there really are a few of us in the same boat. As you know, I'm not really in a position to give advice but I really think that something has to 'click' in your own mind. Yesterday was my 'click' day and I realised that something had to give. I couldn't continue getting up each day with good intentions only to turn the computer off before bed having made no progress and feeling rubbish about it all. I knew that I had to do the work and as everyday slipped by I was making it harder but I just couldn't make myself do it. This is only day one of my new leaf so I'm not promising that everything is going to be rosy from now on but something has shifted mentally. Maybe, the relief of posting on here that everything actually wasn't alright and that it was time to take action has done the trick but I certainly feel less pressure today. I'm going to try and stop imposing extra pressure on myself by panicking about what I need to get done by the end of Nov, by Christmas etc and just take each day as it comes - fingers crossed! Its almost midday now and I've made 7 pages of notes ready to write them up after lunch....why I couldn'y have done that yesterday, or the day before, or the one before that is beyond me. It's great to speak with people who are going through it too as the effects of the PhD are certainly something alien to most and virtually impossible to explain to friends, family etc. I really hope that you guys get your 'click' day and that things fall into place. I don't know how long mine will last but better keep going just in case! Lets keep each other posted, it's done me the world of good hearing from you. I hope I can help you out of your black cloud too. Thanks again!
Dear Star-shaped, thanks for your post. Its great to hear that others have gone throught 'the fear' too! Your supervisors words are very reassuring too as the more I think about it I think I've scared myself into thinking it has to be perfect first time around and now, when I think about it logically, it's near on impossible to articulate exactly what I want to express word for word, hour by hour. Npw I think I am going to take the pressure off a little and just write - what's the worst that cam happen?! At least I won't be staring at the screen hoping the words will appear themselves! Thanks again!
Thanks for your reply, just voicing it and hearing someone tell me that I'm not alone with this has helped alot already. Your advice sounds like something I'd like to give a try so thank you - that will be how I start things tomorrow. How are you getting on with the write up now?
I've been reading the posts on the forum for some time now but have not posted myself. I guess that's because I always thought that I would pull myself out of whatever it is that I am feeling at the moment. I've struggled with trying to push on with the PhD at different stages throughout the PhD and managed to overcome them but I've been feeling like this for quite some time now and feel like the PhD (and me!) have now come to a complete standstill and hoped that someone may have some advice?
I went into the third year of my PhD studies at the end of September and have been attempting to begin the 'write up' for the last four weeks or so. The first year of my studies had their hiccups and I didn't particularly enjoy them but I got through them and threw myself head first into fieldwork in the second year. The second year flew by and I gathered some great data and formed the foundations for a strong thesis. Then third year hit and I have found myself doing anything other than actually writing the damn thing. I don't know if its a crisis of confidence or that I'm overwhelmed with the work ahead but I just can't seem to get myself into gear.
I've broken each chapter down into bullet points with what I'd like to put in them and I can (at times!) see the story from beginning to end that I am trying to tell but for some reason I just cant seem to get this down on paper. Throughout my undergrad and MA I always had too many words and found myself constantly having to cut down but now I can't seem to find my tongue or indeed my motivation at all. I find it really strange that this hurdle has hit me so hard as this is the last long hard slog before the finish line. I have so much to look forward to when it all ends - the possibility of travelling, to getting a 'real' job with some structure and some human contact and even the prospect of buying a new house but for some reason I just can't get going with it.
Everyday I promise myself that tomorrow will be different and that I'll make a dent in my chapter but hour by hour (and now day by day) goes by wasted. I know I need to give myself a good shake and get on with things but for some reason I'm finding it near on impossible to snap out of this state.
Quitting isn't an option, I've spent too long on it and I'm too near the end to walk away. I hope that this post will get things off my chest and give me the kick I need to get going but any advice from those who have managed to get to the end in one piece would be hugely appreciated.
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